USC Wins NCAA Title In 400y Free Relay, Finishes 4th Overall|
March 28, 2015
For the second time in as many nights, USC came from behind to win a relay title, this time in the 400y free relay, and the Trojans finished fourth overall on the final night of the 2015 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships in Iowa City, Iowa, on Saturday (March 28).
The Trojans finished fourth with 278 points. Texas was first (528) and was followed by California (399), Michigan (312), USC, Florida (248), Stanford (209), Georgia (208.5), North Carolina State (199.5), Auburn (182) and Alabama (176).
USC closed the meet in dramatic fashion, as the quartet of senior Cristian Quintero, sophomore Santo Condorelli, freshman Ralf Tribuntsov and sophomore Dylan Carter won in a school record 2:47.06, 0.08 ahead of second place North Carolina State. The same group had already lowered the school mark in prelims to 2:48.24.
Quintero gave USC the early lead with a 41.72 but the Wolfpack took it back at the 100 by 0.55. Tribuntsov sliced off all but 0.16 of it after 300 yards. Carter still trailed by 0.25 with 50 to go, but overtook North Carolina State's David Williams over the final 25 yards for the win. Carter's final split o4 41.31 was the fastest he had ever gone.
"It was amazing. Swimming anchor at the NCAAs is like at no other meet," Carter said. "I can't compare it to anything. You don't feel any pain. It was a great experience and I'm glad I got to enjoy it with these guys."
Combined with Friday's 800y free relay win, it marks the first time USC has won two relays in the same meet since the 1977 team won the same two races.
"We crawled our way into the top 4 with some hard work. The guys never gave up," said USC Coach Dave Salo. "Relays are so important and to win both the 400 and 800 is great. To win the relay makes the fourth place that much more special.
"All season long we've had some tight battles. I told them at the team meeting that I saw their character when we got beat by Wisconsin (earlier this season). I saw them every week after that battle. They battled Utah, Cal in a tight meet, battled Stanford and then at the Pac-12s. They did the same thing here. It was a great team effort."
USC's fourth place finish matches its 2013 result and is only the fourth time its finished that high since taking third in 1990.
Individually, Quintero swam a 42.18 for third place in the 100y free, just off his personal best of 42.11 and giving him three top 5 finishes at the meet for the second year in a row. He turned at the 50 in sixth at 20.24 and came home in 21.94, second-fastest of the heat. Alabama's Kris Gkolomeev won in 41.56 with North Carolina State's Simonas Bilis second (41.78).
Condorelli, in his third `B' final of the meet, won the consolation final of the 100y free with a PR of 42.20 after a 42.49 in prelims. Carter, in his second `B' final, was fifth (13th overall) in 42.74. Carter's 42.61 in prelims lowered his PR by 0.53 and made him the fourth fastest Trojan ever in the race.
Sophomore Steven Stumph, the Pac-12 winner in the 200y breast, scored individually for the first time at the NCAAs by finishing 15th in 1:53.82.
Sophomore Michael Domagala, part of USC's title swim in the 800y free relay, also scored his first NCAA individual points and finished fifth in the `B' final of the 200y fly (13th overall) in 1:43.11. He was 1:42.77 in prelims, 0.02 off his PR.
Junior Collin Pollard posted his second scoring effort of the meet, taking 11th again, this time in the platform with 380.25. He was 10th in prelims with 387.80. Senior Jordan Gear completed his USC career in 37th (279.55) while junior Deon Reid was 35th (289.50).
Senior Luca Spinazzola finished his college career with a PR in the 200y back prelims, motoring home in the final 50 to touch in 1:41.26, good for 17th, missing a second swim by 0.06. The time made him the third fastest Trojan ever in the race and lowered his best time by 0.85.
Freshman Pawel Furtek finished 23rd in the timed final of the 1650y free in 14:58.74.
In other prelim swims, Tribuntsov was 22nd in 100y free (42.89) and sophomore Reed Malone was 26th in 100y free (43.08). Junior Morten Klarskov was 26th in the 200y breast (1:54.67) and junior Ridge Altman was 27th in the race in a PR 1:54.93. Senior Andrew Malone was disqualified for a technical violation in his swim. Senior Cary Wright competed his Trojan career with a 1:45.57 in the 200y fly, 37th.